Our approach to quality assurance and regulation


TEQSA is the national regulator of higher education in Australia, an independent agency that was established under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act).

We protect the interests of students and the reputation and standing of Australian higher education.

Our approach to quality assurance and regulation is:

  • standards-based, risk-reflective and transparent
  • positioned to promote and facilitate a culture of effective self-assurance as an integral part of a provider’s operations
  • only intervening to the extent necessary to achieve our regulatory purpose
  • based on a model of regulatory partnerships, with individual providers and the sector overall.

Compliance frameworks we regulate

In addition to the TEQSA Act, we are primarily responsible for regulation by ensuring providers comply with:

Compliance with the Threshold Standards

All providers are expected to comply with the Threshold Standards to manage their higher education activities and risks. This includes for matters such as the adequacy of facilities, staffing levels, support services, and academic and corporate governance.

Compliance with the ESOS Framework

All providers who deliver higher education to overseas students studying in Australia, including ELICOS and Foundation Programs, are expected to comply with the ESOS Framework.

Providers offering higher education courses to overseas students must be registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). CRICOS identifies both the providers and the courses that have been registered.

The ESOS Framework sets out the obligations relevant to these providers and focuses on the unique needs of overseas students studying in Australia.

  • For more information about the ESOS Framework, see our ESOS Act page

How we regulate the higher education sector

We regulate the sector through:

  • assessing risks to the sector via data collection and analyses
  • registering and re-registering providers
  • accrediting courses (where a provider does not have authority to self-accredit)
  • sharing information with the sector about how to improve and maintain compliance
  • monitoring compliance
  • working with providers to return to compliance and taking action to enforce compliance if necessary. 

Further information

For detailed information about our regulatory approach, please access the following pages on our website:

Last updated: